Stimulants, which speed up the body’s functioning, include prescription drugs, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate, and illicitly produced drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Also called “uppers,” stimulants are available in the form of pills, powder and injectable liquids. Some other commonly used names are “ice,” “snow,” “speed,” “flake,” and “crystal.”
While the types of stimulants vary, they all provide users with the same overall effect of increased energy and alertness levels. Some stimulants are even used for medicinal purpose – Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Similarly, while some stimulants like caffeine are relatively harmless in low doses, others like cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamines are not only illegal but also dangerous and highly addictive.
Following are some of the common stimulants:
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
Addiction to stimulants
In 2016, an estimated 1.7 million Americans (aged 12 or above) misused stimulants. A person can misuse and abuse stimulants for various reasons. For some people, they may take prescription stimulants initially to treat a condition but may end up consuming an increased quantity than prescribed, which can lead to addiction. Some people may start taking stimulants without an actual prescription too, for example, some teenagers and college students take drugs like Adderall to enhance their focus and energy in academics and sports. Likewise, illegal stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine (also known as meth) are abused for the explicit purpose of getting high, but can cause dependence within one or two uses itself.
This is why knowing the symptoms of stimulant abuse or addiction is important, as that can help one in identifying if they or someone they know may be developing a dependence or addiction to these drugs.